Brothers and Sisters,
The negotiating committee would like to extend a tremendous thank you to all our members for standing up for our rights and future. There was a great turnout and show of support from all who could attend our most recent rally, including retirees who know the importance of this fight. We showed everyone that Union pride and support lives on forever. The importance of solidarity grows more and more every day with the continuing onslaught of despicable company proposals passed across the table.
The committee met with many state legislators yesterday morning, explaining just how important it is to stand behind us. We showed them the actual proposals provided by BIW to the Union that will surely gut seniority and allow for subcontractors to enter our state and steal our jobs. These proposals will give BIW the ability to continue to fall further behind schedule, potentially putting an end to the proud heritage of shipbuilding that has aided in allowing Maine to thrive. BIW corresponds with these legislators regularly, trying to create a narrative that we are making good progress and we will be coming to an agreement by the end of the week.
We thought we would set the record straight with the very people who represent various communities across the state. They needed to know just how imperative this contract will be for the future of Bath, its surrounding communities, and the state of Maine. To say they we extremely concerned would be an understatement. They were upset by the fact that the information being put out by BIW was misleading and dishonest.
The tax break was a topic of discussion which was brought up by the very legislators who worked on the bill that granted BIW a $45 million tax break. Its intention was toward Maine jobs and its economy, not out of state subcontractors stealing from the State of Maine, our proud shipbuilders, and their families.
We went back to the table yesterday, only to continue to receive a list of wants, with little to no movement on loans, subcontracting, and schedule D; which will surely erode the cornerstone of our Union, seniority. We continue to bring facts, data, and well thought out reasoning as to why they don’t need what they’re asking for. What they need is to listen to the very people who actually build ships. Surprisingly, they continue to provide no actual proof that what they want and are asking for will actually work.
We have passed counters proposals on:
- Article 10, Shift Changes, ensuring that seniority is a priority in any and all shift changes.
- Article 11, Overtime, again keeping seniority a priority when polling in all aspects.
- Article 17, Holidays, we proposed the need to get Veterans Day back as a holiday and Christmas shutdown be code 14s, with any day that was a holiday, and worked be paid at double time, plus holiday pay.
- Article 21, Employees’ Benefits, we proposed in all plans that we stay at current premiums, copays, deductibles, and out of pocket for the length of the contract with no increases.
The position from the company on most of these was that “it was overly burdensome to manage”. What a joke!
We tentatively have 2 days left with little to no movement from the company. The writing on the wall is clear, buckle up brothers and sisters. Continue to stand strong and united, the fight is approaching our front door.
These updates will continue to be posted on the Local S6 Facebook page as well.
In Solidarity, Local Lodge S6 Negotiating Committee.